One of the most effective ways to protect your home while you're travelling is to simply make it look like you're not actually away. But instead of wrangling timers, or having the neighbours stop by, these new BeON smart bulbs will automatically learn your daily routines and keep turning lights on and off in your absence.
The BeON bulbs are certainly far from being the first smart bulbs to hit the market. To have any success when you're a latecomer to the game requires some unique features your competitors doesn't offer, and that's exactly what these bulbs have.
The most compelling reason to replace all the bulbs in your home with BeON's offerings is that they will automatically learn your daily and weekly lighting routines -- when your lights are being turned on and off -- as you use them. Then when you're away from home for an extended period of time, you can let the system know of your absence using a free accompanying smartphone app, which will automatically turn bulbs on and off in a believable pattern until you get back. Your neighbours won't even realise you're gone.
The LED BeON bulbs can be plugged into any standard socket, and produce 800 lumens, which is roughly the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Each bulb features a unique (and eventually upgradeable) removable module that enables the smart features.
The modules include a built-in backup battery that's always charging as long as the bulbs are screwed into a powered socket, so when the power goes out, you won't be stuck in the dark.
The bulbs also all communicate with each other using a Bluetooth mesh network developed by Qualcomm, so there's no need to have a central hub, router, or base station in your home. That not only makes setup and installation much easier, it also lets the bulbs talk to each other in the event of an emergency. Using built-in microphones the BeON bulbs can actually listen for sounds like a doorbell or the audible alarm of a smoke detector, and then automatically tell every other bulb to turn on to make it easier to navigate or escape your home at night.
The BeON bulbs started life as a Kickstarter project last year, but are now finally available for purchase through the company's website. A starter pack that includes three bulbs sells for $US200, while additional bulbs are $US75 a piece. That's a bit of an investment when you can get eco-friendly LED bulbs for just $US5 each now, but a steal when compared to the cost of upgrading your home with a complete security system.